View Full Version : starting buisness
03-13-2010, 03:59 PM
Hello im a welder who lives in rual southwestern illinois i have 4 years welding experience and currently attend school for welding technology. Im working on getting a welding rig set up for this summer to do on site jobs. I was wondering if anyone had any good advice i think i have everything under control as far as equipment goes, but my problem is that im not sure if i should do a labor rate and charge by the hour or by the job and i figured maybe someone on here could help me out. Thank you all feed back is appreciated.
03-13-2010, 04:24 PM
By THe job not by the hour :)
I price both ways depending on what the job actually is. Most want a firm price up front on what things will cost, but sometimes thats not really possible. On Emergency work especially, where I get a call to come fix something sight unseen, I'll usually charge T&M. Also for a few oddball repairs where you really don't know whats going to need to be done till you rip it apart and see whats what, T&M is usually fair to both sides.
Most stuff I bid is all by the job. The customer wants to know how much it's going to cost to do the job before they start in. It's a gamble, can I do it in the time I figure, should I bump my time estimate to cover unknowns and possibly be too high and loose the job, have I figured in enough materials and misc expenses? I know several guys that will ball park super low estimates to get the job, then start wanting to add "extras" to raise the costs. Stuff I knew needed to be done and listed in my estimate up front. They seldom do much repetitive work for the same people after that however. I usually get paid extra to come in and fix the mess they made. I'm usually real up front about what problems I see that may be extras before I start. Almost 90% of my customers are repeat customers and the last 8-10% are referals from my existing customers.
03-13-2010, 05:00 PM
yeah I agree. I will never quote for repair work because I never know what I might uncover when I start the job. Most customers know that and are just happy to get their equipment working again, they are often there on site the whole time too so don't mind paying by the hour when they can see you work.
For structural jobs people expect a quote and you just have to do your homework so you don't get burnt. I try to pad the quote up a bit to account for any unforseen extras.
You have to factor travel time as well as set up and pack down time. You will also need to work out if you will charge extra for consumables or charge them as part of your hourly rate. Electrodes, grinding discs, gas, tips, fuel for truck and welder, etc are all job costs and need to be factored in.
03-13-2010, 05:41 PM
A good estimate worksheet outlining all expenses is good to have these three broad categories willcover most of your costs.
Consumables and Overhead Expenses
03-13-2010, 06:52 PM
thanks guys everything im hearing sounds like good advice.
03-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Your consumable costs will be a relatively small portion of the hourly rate so I wouldn't worry about trying to capture every item on every bid. Just set your hourly rate competitive with the competition in the area. If you provide quality work and excellent service without overcharging, word of mouth will grow your business for you.
One cost I didn't hear any discussion on is insurance. Most customers will not award the project to you if you don't have adequate insurance. This is one cost that can vary greatly so shop around.
03-14-2010, 08:59 PM
what part of southern Il are you in? word of mouth is the best in my neck of the woods
as already said insurance is pretty important on many jobsites but the farmer mostly wants his equipment fixed
03-15-2010, 11:07 PM
You will need to get a feel for how each type of industry works. Repair work is by the hour, hanging iron by the pound, pipe by the inch, handrail by the foot. Most types of work have a standard they go by and you should be able to figure that out after a few months. If I have to bid a job hard I try to think through all the thing involved and put a hour number to each task add it up, times my rate and go from there. I keep a notebook of jobs and problems that pop up for reference.
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